Why Google Seems To Not Penalize Sites After Paid Backlink Reports - Search Engine Roundtable

A common question I hear from new SEOs is why Google is not taking action against the spam I reported to them. A competitor or site is ranking well because it paid for backlinks or is spamming Google in one way or another, why does that site still rank days, weeks or months after I submitted a spam report?

Google answered that question before saying maybe those spam links aren't benefiting the site and the links ar being ignored by Google?

But yesterday, Google's Gary Illyes said in a Google SEO office-hours from December 2023 another reason. He said that Google does not always act immediately on those reports. Instead, they take that feedback to the engineering team to figure out automated and algorithmic ways to deal with the spam. And that can take months and months for anything to change in search.

Gary said at the 13:19 mark in the video, "we are using those reports to improve our algorithms in general." "And we don't take individual actions on them, on each one of their reports," he added.

Here is the video embed with those details:

Earlier in the video, John Mueller was asked why is buying links from third-party websites against Google's guidelines. John replied, "Nothing has changed with regards to paid links in a really really long time. I'd recommend reading our spam policies, especially the section on link spam. If you have additional questions I'd post in the help community where you can discuss this with other experts."

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